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Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Teen horror tale has promising premise, half-baked plot.

Asylum Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 14+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 14+

The Book is What You Make It

The book is enjoyable for teens. It does have some heavy subjects so parents should look up trigger warning. It's certainly written for a younger crowd, though older teens may find the chartacters a bit childish (children prefer to read about character older than them). If you have a preteen, you should certainly consider their level of maturity etc. It is a good read for spooky season. Furthermore, I believe it does have educational value. It would be a great time to discuss how people that didn’t align with societal standards at given times have been oppressed in various ways but especially in the form of asylums/mental institutions. It would also be a great opportunity to discuss societal issues relating to mental health and the stigmas surrounding mental health issues as well as inadequate access to mental health care.
age 14+

Not That Appropriate, But Nothing New

As an aunt/legal guardian to four children, and a retired private school teacher, I know that children and teenagers all like popular series, like The Hunger Games, or Twilight. I consider this title to be an undiscovered gem. Although this is NOT for children, I do think that, after reading titles like Twilight or The Hunger Games, or similar things, that teens will be able to handle it. Of course, I'm not saying that this content is suitable for them, but most teenagers nowadays will not think much of it, other than calling it “a good read.” Great Role Models: Each of the characters has their flaws, making it more realistic. They're brave, but irresponsible, (4/5) Violence: Gore. Murder. Descriptions of how they used to discriminate back then. (4/5) Sex: A few kisses, but nothing else. (2/5) Swearing: sh-t, -ss, d-mn are said throuhout the book (3/5) Consumerism: Various products, from Coca Cola, to Google (3/5) Drinking: A few scenes where teens have beer (2/5)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (3 ):
Kids say (13 ):

As an exposé of ghastly conditions for anyone with the misfortune to land in the "mental health" facilities of decades past, Asylum is dramatically effective. Personal tales are revealed in both the text and illustrations -- chiefly old photographs from such institutions that suggest torture far more than medical treatment. But as a story, the novel is less successful, though some of its many disconnects and unexplained events may be resolved in the planned sequel. Things happen and revelations occur at a relentless pace, often with little internal logic other than a barrage of scariness; the cartoonishness of the characters and the horror genre (author Roux turns to teen fiction from two previous zombie novels) sits uneasily with the vivid, real horrors inflicted on real people that are central to the plot.

Book Details

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